United States District Court, D. Nebraska
FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND ORDER
R. ZWART UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Juan Adolfo Arredondo (“Defendant”) has moved to
suppress all evidence and statements obtained following a
vehicle stop conducted on January 16, 2017, claiming the stop
and resulting detention violated his Fourth Amendment rights.
(Filing No. 27). For the following reasons, Defendant's
motion should be denied.
hearing testimony and reviewing the evidence, the undersigned
magistrate judge finds the following facts are credible.
January 16, 2017, Buffalo County sheriff's dispatch
advised Sergeant Daniel Schleusener
(“Schleusener”) of a reported criminal trespass.
The caller reporting the incident identified himself to
dispatch as Richard Thomas (“Thomas”) and asked
to speak with the sergeant directly. Schleusener was
acquainted with Thomas and knew him to be the owner of Ace
Irrigation at 4740 East 39th Street in Kearney, Nebraska.
Dispatch transferred the call, and Schleusener spoke with
Thomas on his cellphone.
informed Schleusener that a black Dodge Durango with Nebraska
license plate 14AY33 had trespassed onto the Ace Irrigation
property a few minutes prior to his call. Thomas indicated
that the same vehicle had trespassed onto his business
property on January 12, 2017, and that he had reported that
incident to the Buffalo County sheriff as well. He told
Schleusener the vehicle had entered an area on both occasions
marked with “No Trespassing” signs.
his police vehicle's laptop computer, Schleusener then
confirmed that Thomas had reported the alleged January 12,
2017 trespass to the Buffalo County sheriff, and law
enforcement had not yet contacted the described vehicle
following the January 12 incident. Schleusener noted that the
vehicle description and location of the alleged trespasses in
Thomas's previous and current reports appeared to match.
relayed to Schleusener the vehicle's direction of travel
as it was exiting his property, stating the vehicle had his
property and turned eastbound onto Highway 30. Schleusener,
who was east of Kearney at the time of the call, proceeded
west upon learning the vehicle's trajectory. Schleusener
then encountered a vehicle matching the make, model, color,
license plate number, and travel direction reported to him by
initiated a stop and made contact with Defendant Juan Adolfo
Arredondo (“Defendant”) and the two other
occupants of the vehicle. The vehicle's driver, Craig
Bristol, made incriminating statements at the scene,
methamphetamine was located on Bristol's person, and drug
paraphernalia was found in the vehicle during a later,
filed the instant motion to suppress evidence and statements
on October 2, 2017. He argues that the stop violated the
Fourth Amendment, as there was no reasonable suspicion to
stop the vehicle.
"[t]emporary detention of individuals during the stop of
an automobile by the police, even if only for a brief period
and for a limited purpose, constitutes a 'seizure' of
'persons' within the meaning of [the Fourth
Amendment]." United States v. Farnell, 701 F.3d
256, 261 (8th Cir. 2012) (quoting Whren v. United
States, 517 U.S. 806, 809-10 (1996)). Thus, an
automobile stop, however brief, is subject to “the
constitutional imperative that it not be unreasonable under
the circumstances.” Id.
vehicle stop does not violate the Fourth Amendment if the
officer has a “reasonable suspicion that criminal
activity is afoot.” Duffie v. City of Lincoln,
834 F.3d 877, 883 (8th Cir. 2016) (quoting United States
v. Walker, 555 F.3d 716, 719 (8th Cir. 2009). The
detaining officer “must be aware of particularized,
objective facts, which, taken together with rational
inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant
suspicion” of criminal behavior. Walker, 555
F.3d at 719 (quoting United States v. Martin, 706
F.2d 263, 265 (8th Cir.1983)). This requires something more
than a mere “hunch.” United States v.
Coleman, 603 F.3d 496, 499-500 (8th Cir. 2010) (citing
United States v. Fuse, 391 F.3d 924, 929 (8th
Cir.2004)). The officer need only possess “some,
minimal objective justification for an investigatory
stop.” Id. Moreover, “reasonable
suspicion is a less demanding standard than the probable
cause required for an arrest, it can arise from information
that is less reliable than that required to show probable
cause...[.]” United States v. Wheat, 278 F.3d
722, 726 (8th Cir. 2001) (citing Alabama v. White,
496 U.S. 325, 330 (1990)).
suspicion of criminal activity may arise from a citizen
informant's report of a crime. United States v.
Lawhorn, 735 F.3d 817 (8th Cir. 2013). In the instant
case, Schleusener initiated the stop based on information
provided by Thomas. Schleusener credibly testified that he
knew Thomas' identity, was acquainted with him
personally, and spoke with him directly. (Filing No. 40
at CM/ECF pp. 6-7). Thomas gave a description of the
allegedly trespassing vehicle that included its make, model,
color, license plate number and direction of travel following
the incident. Thomas also reported to Schleusener that he had
not given the vehicle permission to enter an area of his
property marked by “No Trespassing” signs and
that no other person was authorized to permit access to that
area. (Filing No. 40 at CM/ECF p. 23). He ...